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FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace

News/Business. An analysis of top newsmakers and events. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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U.s. 30, Libya 22, Qaddafi 16, U.n. 9, Tripoli 5, Bahrain 5, United States 5, Graham 4, Japan 4, Benghazi 4, Yemen 4, Mullen 3, Obama 3, Obama Administration 3, America 3, Tepco 3, New York 3, Butler 2, Mike Mullen 2, United Nations 2,
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  FOX    FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace    News/Business. An analysis of top  
   newsmakers and events. (CC) (Stereo)  

    March 20, 2011
    4:00 - 5:00pm PDT  

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>> chris: i'm chri chris walla. the latest on the battle in libya and the nuclear crisis in japan. right now on "fox news sunday." missile strikes. the u.s. and britain fire more than 100 cruise missiles as coalition forces act to protect the libyan rebels from muammar qaddafi. we'll have an update on talk with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen live on "fox news sunday." then two leading senators weigh in on the mix, lindsey graham and jack reed. japan works t work contain a nr
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disaster. we will get the latest from japan and talk with the secretary of energy steven chu. plus, we ask our sunday panel if the president is taking the lead on these issues or following. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington where we are tracking two major stories. we have a reporter in libya where the u.s. and its allies are using military force to protect the antiqaddafi rebels. and in japan, where officials are making progress toward bringing a nuclear plant under control. we'll have more on that later and talk with the secretary of energy. first, libya, u.s. stealth bombers struck a major libyan airfield. and qaddafi called the raids terrorism and said the attackers will be defeated. let's get the latest from steve
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harrigan in tripoli. >> the strikes overnight targeted not just the air defenses but the command and control center here in tripoli as well. i'm standing two miles from colonel qaddafi's compound and the scene here about 2:30 in the morning got quite loud. three large incoming explosions. they may have been cruise missiles or attacks from british war planes. they were answered immediately from antiaircraft batteries here on the ground firing up from several points. in daylight, reconnaissance missions are underway to try and assess the damage from the cruise missile strikes to determine if another round is necessary. libyan state t v a reporting 48 civilian casualties. that cannot be verified. colonel qaddafi says the attacks are a new form of hitlerism. he promises it will be a long
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war and he will take revenge against military and civilian targets across the mediterranean. his last two addresses by telephone, taped and replayed. perhaps at this early moment in the conflict the libyan leader is already in hiding. chris, back to you. >> chris: steve, thank is for that. and stay safe. joining us to discuss you operation odyssey dawn is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mike mullen. what is the latest on the military operation? do we now control the skies over libya and have you gotten any damage assessment of the action last night? >> we had a significant impact in the first 24 hours and as steve pointed out we hit a lot of targets and focused on his command and control and air defense and actually attacked some of his forces on the ground in the vicinity of
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benghazi. we will have a 24/7 cap if you will there from now on and effectively he hasn't flown anything in the last couple of days. i say the no fly zone which we were tasked to put in place is actually in place. >> chris: have qaddafi's forces pulled back from benghazi which is what was the immediate demand, benghazi and other cities, have they pulled back and if they don't will coalition forces take out his artillery and tanks? >> anything that is outside of the shay we se city that we sen are it tilery standpoint will be taken out. we have sporadic reports that he is moving some forces around. it is a little early. i haven't received any assessment across the totality of the strikes but we had a significant impact very early in establishing this no fly zone and supporting the mission which is to protect civilians
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and also to be able to provide corridors or create the conditions for humanitarian relief. >> chris: this is a fast moving story and just came across the wires that russia is formally calling on the u.s. and france and britain to stop nonselective use of force. has that been communicated to you? what does that mean and are you going to change what you are doing? >> right now actually and i was just in a conversation this morning with general carter hamm, we continue from a coalition standpoint to press forward. we had expectations that today not just united states plans will be flying but including the brits, the french, the danes, the spanish, the italians. we continue to press on with the operation. we see him suppressed dramatically. his air te defenses are up
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sporadically and they are really mobile tied to the location of his troops. we will continue. >> chris: do you have any reaction to what the ar russias are calling for? >> i don't that the particular point. >> chris: when you mention a number of countries involved in an operational sense when will be see the arab nations take part? >> we have seen the qataris move in. there have been significant engagements with arab countries to see what additional capabilities would be committed and that is being worked hard. >> chris: why haven't you gone after qaddafi's command and control compound in tripoli as president regan did in 1986? >> the focus of the united nations security council was really benghazi specifically and to protect the civilians
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and we have started to do that. clearly we have taken down the important nodes that remove his capability and it is -- this is not about going after qaddafi himself or attacking him at this particular point in time. it is about achieving these narrow and relatively limited objectives so that he stops killing his people and so that humanitarian support can be provided. >> chris: i want to get to that mission in a second but first i want to follow up on what steve harrigan said. the report today from libyan state media is that he is handing out weapons to a million of his citizens and his regime says that there have been 64 now, 64 civilian deaths. your reaction? >> we worked very hard to absolutely mini mize and eliminate any civilian casualties. i have seen no reports of
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civilian is casualties. he has so stated. he hasn't been reliable in the past. the military capability that we have seen so far has not been that effective. that doesn't mean that he can't do damage in the future but we will continue to press him very, very hard in that regard. >> gretchen: let' >> kimberly: let' >> chris: let's talk about the mission. secretary of state clinton and president obama have sent conflicting signals. let's watch. >> we do believe that a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by colonel qaddafi to leave. >> we are are not going to use force to go beyond a well defined goal, specifically, the protection of civilians in libya. >> chris: admiral, as you understand your mission, not the u.n. resolution but your orders from the president, have we given up on regime change, ousting qaddafi from power? >> this particular military
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mission is very focused on ensureing that he can't kill his civilians and we are able to support humanitarian efforts. for us, we are currently in the lead to move to a support role over the next few days and i don't know exactly when that is going to occur in terms of the coalition taking the leadership here positions of the operation. and we are on track to do that. i think to no where this is going long-term from my perspective on the military, from the military perspective it is not -- i haven't been given a mission beyond the one that i just described. >> chris: let me ask you, however, as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff does it make sense to leave qaddafi in power even if it is just in tripoli where he can create an enormous amount of trouble for the world? >> i think he clearly has been isolated internationally. he has had the arab league, his own peers if you will or colleagues vote strongly
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against him. we have got an arms embargo that is more effective than the one that has been put in place in 1970. >> chris: under the similar conditions he brought down the plane, he bombed the nightclub that killed americans in 1986. even a cornered isolated qaddafi can be very dangerous. >> he is a very dangerous guy. very unpredictable. and certainly i think all of us will continue to bring a lot of pressure. but to say exactly what the scout come is right now, i just -- what the outcome is right now i can't do that. >> a couple of times you used a caveat saying this is the mission for now. is it possible that the mission will change and the day may come to take out qaddafi? >> i wouldn't speculate what the mission might be in the future. >> chris: how long will the u.s. be engaged in libya. there has been a report that the president has orderd that u.s. military involvement in this mission will be days, not
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weeks. first. is that true? and second, is it realistic. >> when i talked earlier about getting into a support role and expectations are that we will continue to support the mission particularly with unique capabilities that we have which would include intelligence support, jamming capabilities, and focus on the continued enforcement of the no fly zone and the mission overall. i don't have an exact date in mind and i haven't been given a date by the president where u.s. military participation here would end. >> chris: there are reports that defense secretary gates and the top military command i assume includes you, did not favor this mission but president obama be sided with the foreign policy crowd including secretary of state clinton and u.n. ambassador samantha rice over the pentagon's concerns.
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is that true? >> as i have spoken to this before i got direction to execute it, i spoke to this as a very complex operation and it as complex operation. and as any military operation is, it is a dangerous one. my job certainly isn't to speak to how we got here. my job now is to execute the orders that the president has given me and that is what we are doing. >> chris: is it fair to say that you sided with this group that i talked about, the foreign policies group over the pentagon and military group? >> i think the president has spoken about how difficult these decisions are and how seriously he takes them and there is always a debate on mailinger decisions like that. that said, that debate has occurred. the decision has been made and we are all about now carrying out the president's direction. >> chris: finally, again, i don't have to tell you, you are already fighting two wars against muslim nations in iraq and afghanistan. there was already concern that
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the military was stretched too thin. how can you take on a third operation? is something going to have to give? >> there is no one that understands better than i the stress and strain that we have been under for a long time in our 10th year of war both in iraq and in afghanistan. that said, we are within our capability and capacity to be able to execute this mission. it is as has bullpen the direction given to me -- as has been the direction given to me, it is limited, very focused and in that regard we are more than able as has been shown in the last 24 hours so carry it out and carry it out effectively. >> chris: admiral mullen thank you very much for coming in today. and our thoughts, of course, are with our troops. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: up next, we continue our coverage of the military operation in libya as we get reaction from two key members of the armed services committee.
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>> chris: joining us now are two leading members of the senate armed services committee. from his home state of south carolina, republican lindsey graham and here in the studio democrat jack reed. senator graham, what do you think of the military operation in libya so far and the support role that the u.s. is going to be playing? >> well, i'm glad we are finally doing something.
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i don't know how many people have died as we wait to do something. thank god for strong movement in the obama administration. i'm worryd that we are taking the back sheet rather tha seate leadership role. prime minister cameron said this action is necessary and legal and right. president obama is talking about limited action of days. qaddafi is not the legitimate leader of libya. he is an international victimmal and should be investigated for his criminal actions in pan am. we should knock out his radio and tv ability to communicate with his own people. we shouldn't pay qaddafi forces any money when it comes to libyan oil. isolate, strangle and replace this man. that should be our goal. >> chris: i just want to make clear i understand. are you saying that the problem is the definition of the mission or the fact that we are
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letting the french and the british take the lead? >> the definition of the mission, we used to relish leading the flee worl free worw it is almost like it is an inconvenience. i want to to be a good partner and i want the arab world to see us as a strong effective partner for their hope and dreams of being free and i think the president caveated this way too much. it is almost like it as nuisance. this is a great opportunity to replace a tyrannical dictator who is not a legitimate leader who is an international crook and we should seize the moment and talk about replacing him, not talking about how wounded we will be. >> chris: senator reed, two aspects. the formulex of the mission and the question of whether the u.s. should be taking a lead role or letting the british and french take the lead role and this question of the definition of the mission which we heard the chairman of the joint
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chiefs say is to get him to stop killing killian civilianss not a lead change. >> without the arab league endorsement i do not think there would have been a successful u.n. resolution and we would be frustrated now and in fact we might have been pulled into this without the international support we need not just militarily but financially particularly at this critical moment when we are struggling with a deficit. the president and his leadership created the conditions for an international coalition. we are shaping the battlefield right now. uppishially we have that capacity. we will be able to hand off quickly to french and arab forces. that i think will send a strong signal to the arab world this is not about american interests, it is about democracy in libya. >> chris: let's get to maybe the more important question which is the mission. now, that we have taken on
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qaddafi, now that we have i was going to say bloodied his nose, we have done a lot more than that, can we allow him to stay in power? he can create an awful lot of trouble in the world even in a very weakened state as the king of tripoli. >> i think we have taken the first step. because we have a u.n. resolution that provides for robust operations to protect the people of libya, there is the possibility of i think expanding this operation, not with u.s. forces but, frankly, with other forces like the french, the british, the qataris. that i think will send a strong signal to qaddafi that his days should be limited. we have to consider not u.s. but internationally some type of stablization force. that is the most significant step i think going forward. but the flexibility of the u.n. resolution gives the united nations and the international community the ability to -- >> chris: you are saying you want boots on o the ground?
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>> not united states forces. i think the president has ruled that out. there are many forces that are capable of helping. but the situation is such at this juncture that we will protect the citizens of libya and i think eventually what you are going see is the qaddafi position becomes less and less tenable then you have international mechanism, a special envoy to the u.n. who can move in and behe gin to start the negotiations. hopefully they will eject qaddafi from power but also coordinates with the elements in opposition and try to develop a stable government. >> chris: we are running out of time and i want to talk about a couple of other things. let me get to this, do you think you can negotiate muammar qaddafi out of power? >> no, i think our government should investigate the role he played in the bombing of pan am flight 103. i think he is an international criminal. we should isolate his regime
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and knock off his radio and tv stations. any military units that come to his aid should be destroyed. we should not pay him or anybody on his side of the ledger any oil money and let me just put it simply, this is the best chance to get rid of qaddafi in my life. if we don't get rid of him we will pay a heavy price down the road. the obama administration owns libya with qaddafi. be bold. be effective. work with the international community. replace this international outthe law sooner rather than later. >> chris: let me take you to a couple of other quick issues and i'm going ask you both to be brief about it. senator graham, president obama went to the u.n. security council to get approval, authorization for this use of force. should he go to congress? >> i don't believe he needs to come to congress. i think it is inherent within the authority of the commander
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in cheek to take such action. we have been overly cautious and this thing melted down. i wish we would have acted sooner. i don't feel a need to bless this action before he took it. i would be glad to vote on it afterwards. the u.n. security council has not been used every time we have had force. if you are going to take the freedom agenda and turn it over to the are you snaps and chinese that would be -- russians and the chinese that would be a huge mistake. i'm glad we have international support but i don't want the model to be that you have to go to the u.n. to deal with tyranny. in many ways, there are countries onel are run by dict. >> chris: should the president get the approval of congress? >> it gives us the opportunity to review what he has done. like lindsey, if there is a proposal coming before the congress then i would have no difficulty in supporting the actions to date. >> chris: a minute left. we are taking this action
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ostensibly to prevent qaddafi from bruteally refriesin repred killing civilians in his country. in bahrain, they have been doing so. 47 were killed by the government in yemen on wednesday. senator graham, should we beintervening in those countries? they are al our allies. should we beintervening. >> we should push back against using live ammunition against people protesting. the people if yemen and bahrain do not believe there is a down side of shooting their own people because we let qaddafi come back and get stronger not weaker. if we deal with qaddafi decisively we will have better leverage and bahrain and yemen and the iranians will think twice. if we don't deal with him
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decisively all hell is going to break loose in the mid east because nobody is going to follow a weak america. >> we have constant communication with the leadership in yemen and bahrain. secretary gates making it clear to the king there and our diplomats and making it clear to their president that they have to respect the rights of the people and allow peaceful protests and can't use violence to suppress the legitimate concerns of the people. that is the message we have to send and we are sending it. >> chris: senator reed, senator graham thank you so much for coming in and weighing in on these fas fast moving stories. up next, japan battles a nuclear melt down. what does it mean for the u.s.? answers from the secretary of energy, when we come back.
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>> chris: now, the prices in ja -- the crisis in japan where that country is still struggling to get a nuclear power plant under control. here is the latest. authorities now you say once the emergency is resolved the entire complex will be scrapped. power has been restored at the nuclear plant but they have not yet tried to turn on cooling systems at the most damaged reactors. in tokyo, radioactive iodine detected in drinking water and food from some farms shows increased radiation levels. greg palkot is tracking the story from osaka. greg? >> mixed news on several fronts.
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authorities spent the weekend dousing with water the two more dangerous reactors. they are trying to bring radioactivity levels down. there was a spike in one of the reactors. there is electricitied up to another reactor. they want to turn the coolant pumps on in the reactor. that hasn't happened next. shoppers reacting wearily to the news that radioactive iodine or traces of it have been found in milk and spinach from the affected area. also smaller traces in the water. no health risk is implied by that according to authorities but they are deciding on what to do on that the next 24 hours. the relief and rescue efforts continue following the quake and tsunami. a remarkable story on sunday. found amid the rubble an 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson discovered alive after nine days considering all that time in the rubble they are in pretty good shape. still the death toll and
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missing, 20,000 and climbing. that number, chris, expected to go up in the coming days. back to you. >> chris: greg palkot reporting from japan. thanks for that. joining us now, secretary of energy steven chu. and mr. secretary, welcome to "fox news sunday." >> thank you. >> what is the latest from japan? how are officials there doing in cooling the reactors and the pools of spent fuel on top? >> well, they are are using fire trucks to spray the spent fuel pools. they are looking at the reactors. power is being restored and perhaps today they can try the standard pumps in the reactors. >> chris: are you hopeful? how would you characterize the situation? >> i think each passing hour, each passing day seems to be more under control and so they are making good progress. >> chris: i don't want to minimize the threat but are we overstating and by we i think the media primarily overstating
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the dane fresh radiation here in the u.s. and especially from japan. more americans die from pollution each year than all of the people killed from chernobyl and the radiation levels in japan are nothing like that. are we overstating the danger? >> i think you make a good point. the people in the united states u.s. territories are in no danger. it is unlikely they will be exposed to the danger. there is concern about u.s. citizens in japan and we are monitoring the situation closely. but we'll see what comes. and as i said, day-by-day, hour-by-hour the focus is on mitigation of this issue. >> chris: there are reports that tepco, the company that owned the property delayed this taking steps to control the crisis such as using seawater because it didn't want to destroy its property. first of all. is that true? and secondly, should tepco
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simply bury the reactors in sand and cement as the russians did in chernobyl? would that solve the problem. in. >> first, i don't know the exact ronology. cooling with see water is the right decision. once you use the seawater those are not recoverable. that is the right step that they took. >> chris: there have been reports tepco delayed in some actions because it was trying to protect its investment. >> i don't have any indication of that. going beyond that, i think what the russians did, it appears unlikely that you need those scenarios. there is partial meltdowns in the three reactors. there may be a containment leak in one of them. but far less drastic measures could be used to put it under control and to mini miz minimie
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contamination. >> germany orderd that its 7 older nuclear reactors be shut down pending a three month review. why isn't that being done in this country? >> the nrc has a deliberative process about what to do about the reactors. the german -- i believe the german order was to review the life extension of those reactors. i'm not sure about the shutdown. i think the nrc is a diligent organization and they will be and are reviewing the situation closely. >> but the germans clearly and we seem to disagree because outages reporting was that they actually called for shutting down the seven oldest plants. they are taking more drastic actions than the u.s. are they overreacting or are we underreacting? >> i can't speak to the germans. if they did order the shutdown of those reactors, i don't -- i can't speak to that directly. but the nrc is looking at all of the reactors and they are
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very prudent agency and we'll see what they do. >> chris: let's take a look at the situation in this country. there are now 104 nuclear power plants in the u.s. the last permit for construction of what is now a fully operational plant was issued back in 1978 and three or rather of the u.s. reactors use or rather 23 of the u.s. reactors, i couldn't read my own writing here, use the same mark one design as the plan in japan. question the safety of that plant, of those reactors and the pools for spent fuel on top, question, do you have full confidence in all of our reactors and is it possible that this long moratorium and building new reactors has saddled the u.s. with out-of-date technology? >> it is true that 23 of the reactors now operating in the united states are of that
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design. since the reactors were built there have been upgrades in the safety of those reactors and that is a process that the nrc continues to do. there are additional safety measures taken over the years and with this accident in japan there will be a federal review going forward about all of the reactors in the united states. >> chris: is is amazing there isn't a single construct the plant in this country that the permit was issued since 1978. do you think that long moratorium after three mild island has worked against us in having state of the art technology in our nuclear infrastructure? >> no, they have upgraded and developed some of the newer designs at westinghouse and ge are safer than the earlier designs. that was a very early design. the newer reactors being
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designed now -- >> chris: but 23 of our react orors are mach 1. >> there have been upgrades and will continue to be if it warranted. >> chris: the nuclear regulatory commission called for a 50-mile evacuation zone around the reactor in japan. but in new york state more than 21 million americans live that close to the indian point plant that we are taking a look at right here which is just 34-miles from manhattan. new york's governor called for shutting down that plant. is he overreacting? >> well, i think again the evacuation plans of the indian point reactor will be looked at and studied in great detail. the indian point reactor is not in the situation like in japan but i think again we will be looking at whether those evacuation plans are adequate.
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>> chris: senator tortio, to an degree evacuation you can't do anything about it because new york city is where it is and the plant is where it is. is it safe to have a plant when we see what happened in japan, obviously a huge accident, that evans has to get away. indian point 20 miles away from new york. >> that is an issue and we have to look at whether this reactor should remain. but, again, i don't want to make any -- jump to some judgment about what we should do going forward. >> chris: are you saying the issue of whether to keep indian point in operation is in doubt? is something you will review? >> well, it is an nrc decision but the nrc will be looking at that i'm sure based on events. this is not to say that we believe that reactor is unsafe. we believe that reactor is safe. there is constant scrutiny of
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the reactors in all of our plants around the united states. >> chris: based on what happened in japan the last week, would you build a reactor within 50 miles of 20 million americans? >> certainly where we site reactors going forward will be different than we might have sited them in the past i would say. >> chris: this is a game changer? >> any time there is a serious accident we have to learn from those accidents and go forward. >> chris: what effect do you expect the events in japan and in libya to have on the price of gas at the pump this summer? >> that is hard to expect. my in tuition about how the events in for example japan would affect the gasoline prices any uncertainty in the middle east begins to show doubt but we hope that those situations will resolve. the thing that the president has stressed is that the events
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in libya have interrupted a small capacity of the world supply and we have excess capacity in the world. >> chris: in japan does that mean there is less demand for gas in the short-term? >> that is the way the markets reacted. again, those are things that we go forward and, you know, the markets say okay, what is demanding and a boil in japan and therefore i think that is why the price went down. in the long run i have to say that we not only should look at what the possibility is going to be during the next day and week but also be -- what the price of oil is going to be in the next week but also be concerned about what the price of oil is going to be five or ten years from now. >> chris: you you supported ramping up gas prices to force americans into more green energy cars and other uses being more fuel efficient.
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you said this. somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in europe where it is now more than $10 a gallon. in that sense is the gas spike an opportunity for more green energy? >> well, what i said -- what i'm doing since i became secretary of energy has been quite clear. what i have been doing is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices. we he have been very focused in the department manageing that. the entire administration has been very focused on that. the increasing of the mileage standards is one way of doing this. a very concerted effort and electric vehicles where we think within reach, within maybe four or five years we could be testing batteries that could allow us to go 200 or 300 miles in a single charge on a mass marketed car. >> chris: i understand that and that is certainly part of your effort. but is the spike in gas prices, does that also help in making us more energy efficient?
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>> the recent spike in gasoline prices following the huge spike in 2007-2008 is a reminder to americans that the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up. just because of supply and demand issues. we see this in the buying habits of americans as they make choices for the next car they buy. >> chris: secretary chu thank you so much for coming in today and answering our questions. >> thank you. >> chris: when we come back from libya to japan to the debate over spending, we will ask our sunday regulars is the president demonstrating leadership? stay tuned. ♪
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>> chris: on this day in 1952, the senate ratified a security treaty with japan. the post world war ii agreement granted the u.s. the right to maintain military bases there which are still in use. stay tuned for our sunday panel. o?oowq
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so free file from the irs does the hard work for you, with brand-name tax software or online fillable forms. and it's free. so give yourself a break. at freefile.irs.gov. we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be in mercy. >> chris: president obama on saturday during his trip to brazil explaining why it was time to act in libya. and it is time now for our sunday group, brit hume, yes,
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brit hume fox news senior political analyst. mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of the weekly standard. and fox news political analyst juan williams. i think it is fair to say that president obama clearly changed course this week on libya going from serious doubts about military involvement to pushing in the end for the use of force. brit, did he waffle or was he skillful in maneuvering a coalition in which the u.s. was not in the lead? >> i don't know. and i think it is very hard. i'm following this as closely as i can and i think it is hard to tell. it certainly wasn't really american leadership. clearly other countries were calling for action and prepared to take action before the united states was. i think that the atmosphere changed when the arab league came out and called for the imposition of the no fly zone. we haven't seen that much before, it has happened. and then the president decided he would like to participate. the question really is will
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these military steps being taken by the u.s. and its allies be sufficient. and if not will we look back on this and say had the president been prepared to go sooner with or without the allies that the tide of the conflict might have bullpen turned and if it comes out badly and qaddafi ends up prevailing in spite of this. we don't know the answer for awhile. let's hope that the measures are effective. qaddafi is a certified coward, the fact that the strikes anywhere near him. >> chris: the u.s. is really following the british and the french although we kind of shaped the battlefield in the first 24 hours. is that smart? >> the with u white house thint is. u.s. forces are in charge right now. the president doesn't seem like he is lead aing the charge and
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that is a different model of presidential leadership and i think it is intentional. the president has a vision of u.s. leadership in the world that acts in a multilateral way and not a uni lateral way and he has good reasons in this particular region not to be out in front. as a matter of fact, i think that the united states is taking more leadership than the president and secretary of state are actually claiming to be. i think they are downplaying what the united states is really doing. we are very unpopular in the middle east. this is the third war that we are getting involved with, third shooting war and i think that president obama wants to be extremely careful so that america doesn't become the kind of target, the reason, the crusader for this, it is absolutely on purpose. >> chris: bill, let's talk about the mission. you heard earlier in the show admiral mullen say his orders are clear, protect the civilians, don't overflow qaddafi, that is not the point.
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can we live with him in power? >> we can't leave qaddafi in power and won't leave qaddafi in power. the immediate role of the mission -- the ultimate goal is to remove qaddafi. >> chris: how do we get from here here to there? >> we destroy the military capability and help others remove him. i would not rule out ultimately perhaps having to go in with peace keeping and nation stablizing forces. the threat of ground forces -- you know, we have sent in peace keeping forces and eventually got rid of milosevich. i think we were slow to do what we had to do. i hope the obama administration is not taking the position of we hope this works out. we have u.s. forces committed we can a torically pretend we
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are are following that leader. we need to succeed. >> chris: juan? >> the president has said qaddafi has lost legitimacy and most go. said it was time to get involved in military action and i thought you heard in your interview with admire ral mullen there were lessons on the part of the american military. the fact is that secretary of defense gates said this is a difficult mission for the military. our third war, we don't want to get involved. i would add in terms of responding to what bill said what you have got here is a situation where the u.s. government has frozen qaddafi's assets. embargoed purchasing libyan role. this serves to isolate qaddafi and limit what he can do and is going to expedite the fact that qaddafi is gone. any way that he stays in power.
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this is not about the u.s. going in there or bombing h his home or anything like that. leave that to the arabs of the world and let them take the action and take away the sting of blaming the u.s. for everything that goes wrong. >> juan put his finger on something is important on this president's view of the world. to this president the presence and sight of american leadership in an operation of this kind or intervention of any kind is a stigma. many in this country believe that american leadership is essential and not delegi dee de legitimatizing in any way. he is going to be in a position of forever following and the problem with that is it is not that is isn't a good idea to have allies. it is not even that it is not a good idea to have allies appear to be in the lead. the problem is that when it gets down to it and we are seeing it now over libya,
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american forces are the most capable in the world even as stressed as we are. we are hearing today that america will soon turn over the command and control operation to other forces. well, why did we have them in the first place? because of our capabilities. we are so much greater. we will be hesitant because we fear that american leadership is ugly in the world, it is going to be a problem for a long time to go. >> chris: but mara, the u.s. already involved in two wars. is it such a bad thing to have this attack announced by nicolassakozy? >> we are doing the substance of work of making this happen. this is a complicated situation. not just libya. there is tunisia and egypt are
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the president some people say too slowly but got on the side of the prodemocracy forces. bahrain where you have tear gas cansters being used against the protesters and they have made in the usa on the side of them where we are not willing to be as forceful in favor of protesters and we see it as a sec tare ran struggling there. it as little complicated. in the end if qaddafi is gone the president will look like he exercised a strong lead. >> chris: i want to switch the pivot a little bit on this. there has been a lot of criticism of the president this week that he failed to show leadership whether it is on libya or japan or even the budget deal. and there has also been that the president continue with the trip to brazil while the u.s. forces go into libya. and he goes on tv to announce the ncaa brackets.
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>> any chance to see jimmer fredette. >> great talent but they lost their inside presence. >> chris: has a bigger issue, has the president failed to show leadership on a lot of these issues or at the least as he been tone deaf as all of the problems step up? >> well, butler defeated pitt and blew out the president's brackets. that was good. i wouldn't advise him to spend quite as much time on his bracket picks over the past week but at the end of the day if the policy is right, the policy is right. i'm not sure there is anything much he should be doing on japan. on libya i think he was low. i think qaddafi is strengthening himself. now, he needs to make sure that qaddafi goes and if he does people will forget that they were on tv talking about his bracket picks and maybe forget he was a booster of pitt chances.
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>> and underrated that fine little school at indianapolis, butler. >> i tell you you where i think the conservative argument that he is dithering and passive has some is the budget issue. >> chris: 34 republican ares, 34 democrats. >> sent a letter saying it is time for you you to exercise some leadership. you had the deficit commission. you are the president of the united states. the president looks to be -- >> i love it when juans says that the press is dithering. that was good. >> he didn't say the word leadership i don't think. >> i don't think the letter used the word leadership. they want him to be involved. >> they want him to take a position. and like a poker player he is holding his chips and saying i want the republicans to take. >> and that is by design. >> and smart politics. >> this is who is running the white house. they are saying we are about getting reelected here.
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i think he should be showing leadership. i -- on the budget they say at the white house this he have a plan. there is a time table for this. i think the president will get involved, not just yet. >> chris: got to be patient. thank you panel. see you next week. check out panel plus where our group picks up with the discussion on our website foxnewssunday.com. and we will post the video before noon eastern time. up next, we hear from you. >> woman: good night, gluttony-- a farewell long awaited. good night, stuffy. >> ( yawning ) >> good night, outdated. >> ( click ) >> good night, old luxury and all of your wares. good night, bygones everywhere. >> ( engine revs ) >> good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning, unequaled inspiration. >> ( heartbeats )
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>> chris: time for comments you posted to our blog wallace watch. and many of you wrote about the crisis in japan. vern williams sent this to not build current reactor designs because an 8.8 earthquake damaged several old reactors is equivalent to restricting all buildings to four floors because two were hit by airplanes on 9/11. p.j. from seattle doubts the safety of nuclear plants. are we arrogant enough to think we could do what the japanese could not? i don't think so. keep your comments coming. you can reach us at "fox news sunday" .com. that is it for today. have a great week and we'll see captioned by closed captioning services, inc.
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